clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

This video shows what Africans think of westerners trying to ‘save’ them

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

Normally, articles with videos about Africa lead in to how horrible life in the continent is (undifferentiated by country, let alone city or region) — and what Westerners can do to "fix" it. The video you're about to watch is the exact opposite of that. Instead of Westerners telling you how to fix Africa, Africans tell Westerners to stop trying to fix things.

Cassandra Herman, an independent documentarian, was bothered by the fact that Africans were so often portrayed as passive victims by the Western media. "In American media and pop culture," she writes, "Africans remain objects of our pity or moral outrage or fascination."

So she turned flipped the script, following several Africans attempting to express their concerns about Western depictions to American audiences. Here's what happened:


This is only a trailer for a broader film, titled Framed. Herman and her team have just made their Kickstarter goal for distributing the whole film; if you want to throw them a few more dollars to give it a wider audience, you can donate here.